ForALLschool staff - Hampshire County Council

ForALLschool staff - Hampshire County Council
Summer 2015
Hampshire IT
For ALL school staff
Schools in a Digital World
Hampshire IT's ICT Strategic Forum
Quotes and pictures pages 4-6
SIMS in practice
at St Luke's C of E Primary
page 17
Releasing synergies:
ICT and English
Two afterschool clubs report
pages 18-19
Strategy &
pages 20-21
Hampshire IT KPIs
pages 8-10
Hampshire IT Schools – Summer 2015
Hampshire IT Schools – Summer 2015
Summer 2015
Inside this issue…
Following the
retirement of my
colleague, Nick
Davey, I have taken
over his role and
therefore have the
pleasure of
introducing each
edition of Hampshire IT Schools.
As a member of the Business Partner
Management Team – and as a Hampshire
resident with children in Hampshire schools
- I have read the magazine with interest over
the last year and been particularly pleased to
observe the growing number of contributed
articles from schools.
For example in this edition we have five
contributed articles, including a double page
spread showing how two afterschool clubs
are marrying ICT with English to the mutual
benefit of each (pages 18-19).
In addition, I hope you will enjoy reading
what delegates had to say about Hampshire
IT's ICT Strategic Forum in February (pages
4-6). I'm delighted that they appear to have
found the conference valuable.
We have a report on our performance figures
for our IT school support, which should be of
interest (pages 8-10), and I would invite you
to read Headteacher Andy Burford's article on
P/SICATS, the valuable Primary/Secondary
Information Technology and Communication
Strategy Group (pages 20-21).
This group, comprising headteachers from
across Hampshire, meets with us regularly to
discuss issues and developments and plays a
very important role in ensuring that the
services we develop meet schools' needs.
I hope you enjoy this edition of the magazine.
If you or one of your colleagues would like to
contribute an article or make any comments,
please get in touch.
Anecdotal feedback suggests that many
school staff see the word "IT" on the front
cover and assume that the magazine is
primarily aimed at school ICT Co-ordinators
and others with responsibility for IT. I would
urge you to spread the word among your
colleagues that the magazine is intended for
– and I hope is of interest to - all school staff.
Joe Stepney
Lead Business Partner
Hampshire IT
[email protected]
For comments and suggestions about the magazine,
please email: [email protected]
If you need this information in a different format,
please call the IT Help Desk on 01962 847007
For all other inquiries, please contact the
IT Help Desk, tel 01962 847007
Extra copies
If you would like extra copies of Hampshire IT
Schools, please call the IT Help Desk on 01962
847007. Or use the form at:
Previous issues
Download this and previous issues at www.hants.
Andy Burford, Liss Junior School
Ben Parry, St Bede's Catholic Primary
David Wigley, Hampshire IT
Denise Bradley, St Luke's C of E Primary
Kate Price McCarthy, Hampshire IT
Karen Fasseau, Hampshire IT
Renate Tracy, Hampshire IT
Simon Warner, Blackfield Primary
Steve Riddle, Hampshire IT
Sue Corney, St John the Baptist Catholic Primary
Sue Savory, Hampshire IT
Schools in a Digital World – ICT Strategic Forum
The dangers of using out-of-support software
KPIs – how Hampshire IT has performed on IT school support
SIMS in practice – St Lukes C of E Primary, Sway
Afterschool clubs – English and ICT make good bedfellows
P/SICATS – a partnership that works
Office 365 – your questions answered
Choosing a tablet for your school
My IT – Sue Corney, St John the Baptist, Andover
Winchester Data Centre Shutdown
As you are aware, most schools and corporate IT
systems went down unexpectedly on Friday 27 March,
the result of an incident at the Winchester Data Centre.
This was not the result of a system fault; an external
contractor pressed the Emergency Power Off button
in error. Hampshire IT immediately invoked its disaster
recovery processes, and we are pleased to report that
all critical applications were fully operational inside 12
hours and that everything else was back up and
IT Help Desk 01962 847007
running within 24 hours. The Hosted Schools Service
(HSS) remained available throughout, as it is designed
to continue running in schools in the event of a break
in connection with the Hampshire Data Centre.
Whilst there are lessons we have learned to reduce the
possibility of this happening in future, it is, nonetheless,
encouraging to know that our disaster recovery
processes worked smoothly when they had to.
Hampshire IT Schools – Summer 2015
Hampshire IT Schools – Summer 2015
Schools in a Digital World
Tony Murray, Headteacher,
St Bede's Catholic Primary,
Hampshire IT's annual, free ICT Forum for headteachers, senior
leaders and other staff with strategic responsibility for ICT
"I enjoyed it very much, as did my
IT Manager, Ben Parry. It was a good
opportunity for us to hear about the
current possibilities and gave us a chance
to discuss the way forward for St Bede's.
"It was also very useful to hear what other
schools have been doing with IT.
"As a result of the conference we've
decided that in the coming academic year
we'll look at eSafety and also explore the
possibilities of the computing curriculum.
My IT Manager now has a dedicated
budget and is working with two or three
other members of staff to review our
eSafety and our overall IT policy in the
light of the changes introduced by the
new curriculum."
he challenges and the opportunities for schools
in a digital world were the central themes at
Hampshire IT’s annual ICT Strategic Forum in February.
The conference, held at the County Council’s Castle
complex in Winchester, brought together providers,
ICT specialists and the school personnel who use ICT for
the benefit of children. It was a chance to listen, to
discuss the issues and to hear some inspiring stories
from people on the ground.
Around 100 people, including headteachers, governors,
ICT specialists and other school staff from around the
county, filled the County Council’s Ashburton Hall to
watch presentations and discuss topics such as digital
security, making the most of management information
system data and innovative use of IT in schools.
The two half day sessions – which were free of charge also gave delegates the chance to network at
breaktimes and to hear each other’s views during the
question and answer session.
The conference was chaired by Jos Creese, who until
May this year was Hampshire County Council’s Digital
Lead. Jos discussed the need for schools to balance
the risks with the opportunities offered by IT and said
IT had the potential to provide all schoolchildren with
equality of access.
Sue Corney, School Administrator &
Finance Officer, St John the Baptist
Catholic Primary, Andover
The keynote speakers were John Coughlan, Hampshire’s
Director of Children’s Services and Deputy Chief
Executive, in the morning, and John Clarke, Deputy
Director for Education and Inclusion, in the afternoon.
Sue Savory and David Wigley from Hampshire IT
discussed the risks and safeguards for schools in a
digital age.
Other speakers included:
Finally, Jon Audain, Senior Lecturer in Education
ICT at the University of Winchester, brought along
a group of student teachers to talk about their
impressions of the classroom of tomorrow.
Paul Nicholson, Headteacher of The Westgate
School, Winchester, who talked about IT as a vital
instrument in the move away from a nineteenth
century model of teaching to a more modern,
immersive approach. Paul has worked closely with
Hampshire IT to ensure his school has the right IT
infrastructure as it develops from a secondary to an
all-through school.
Forum organiser Stephan Chapman, Hampshire IT’s
Senior Programme and Service Manager, said: “We
had a great turn out, and it was encouraging to see so
many schools take an active part in the day.
Phil Neal, Managing Director of the schools
management information system developer,
Capita SIMS, outlined the priorities for his
organisation in the future, including the need to
simplify processes so schools can make the most of
the potential of SIMS data.
"Events like the ICT Forum are so important. They
enable schools and the Council to look, at a strategic
level, at the changes taking place. It's good for us to
take a joint look at the challenges and opportunities
being faced across education, how schools can learn
from each other and what Hampshire IT can do to
support them."
The student's view of a digital school was presented
by Mel Pearce, Assistant Head of Perins School,
Alresford, who showed how technology used at
Perins had inspired pupils at her school.
Stephan added: "Forums like this also provide a great
networking opportunity, as well as a chance to ask
questions and tap into the vast amount of knowledge
and experience available from the speakers."
IT Help Desk 01962 847007
"I found all the presentations of interest,
but it was particularly nice to hear the NQTs
being so enthusiastic about the use of ICT
in the classroom.
"In my own school I’ve noticed a change in
perspective from trainee teachers over the
years. Previously when I’d ask them what
equipment they needed in the classroom,
they might ask for a flipchart. Now they’ll
ask about interactive Whiteboards.”
Clare Mogridge, Computing
Co-ordinator, St Alban's Primary,
"It was an excellent opportunity to network
with other teachers and to get the Hampshire IT perspective on things, particularly
on eSafety. Being able to talk to Hampshire
IT's David Wigley directly was very useful.
"I came away feeling like I had a deeper
understanding of the way forward on a
number of issues."
Hampshire IT Schools – Summer 2015
Hampshire IT Schools – Summer 2015
Schools in a Digital World
More quotes and pictures
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it"
Chris Grant, ICT Manager,
Hook Junior School
Good advice – or a recipe for IT disaster?
"This was my first experience of a
Hampshire IT strategic forum, and
overall it was a very enjoyable
"I was very impressed with Jon Audain
and the student teachers he brought
from Winchester University; their
enthusiasm for drawing on ICT in the
classroom was infectious. I think it’s
important that senior leadership teams
listen to the ideas, suggestions and
needs of younger staff where ICT is
"I was also very interested in what
Paul Nicholson had to say about the
importance of getting the infrastructure right, including the role of
support staff. You really need support
staff to understand and be aware of
their role in supporting teachers."
Karen Dawson, Head of ICT,
Alverstoke Infant School
"I was very interested in both the
Teacher App and the SIMS InTouch app
that Phil Neal from Capita was talking
about. We discussed both of them at a
Governors' meeting the following
week. The InTouch App would be a
very useful way of getting messages to
parents. A lot of the time we don't see
parents face to face at the school gate
because grandparents and childminders are picking them up.
"The forum also made me think about
how we have to keep moving with the
times and keep reviewing what we’re
doing. One of the presenters talked
about what learning is going to look
like in ten, 20, 50 years' time: virtual
learning and virtual lessons. It really
made me think."
One of the speakers at the ICT
conference was Hampshire IT's
Principal Security Consultant
David Wigley, whose presentation, Keeping Safe in a
Digital World, proved very
popular with delegates.
here’s an old saying: “If it ain’t
broke, don’t fix it.” That used
to be how we thought about IT
equipment, but in the modern,
connected world, using old,
out-of-date software is a recipe
for disaster.
All leading software companies,
like Microsoft, Google, Oracle and
Adobe, produce software patches
(small updates to their software
to fix problems) and make them
available free to download. Some
of these software patches will fix
things that just don’t work
properly, but a lot of software
patches are to fix security
vulnerabilities which allow
hackers to take control of your
computer over the Internet and
potentially steal your data.
New security vulnerabilities are
being discovered at such a rate
that leading software companies
are creating new security patches
every month, just to keep up.
IT Help Desk 01962 847007
In a new column for
Hampshire IT Schools,
David will provide advice on
cyber security.
Here David focuses on the
dangers of using old,
out-of-support software.
Most modern PCs, laptops, Macs,
servers, iPhones, iPads etc will
automatically update themselves
with the latest software patches,
or remind you to do this yourself.
The problem is that everything
has a shelf life, and eventually
software gets so old that
companies stop selling and
supporting it. At that point they
stop creating new software
update patches.
Windows XP is still used on about
10% of computers on the Internet,
but it went out of support a year
ago. There have been many
vulnerabilities found with
Windows XP since then, but there
are no fixes available. Anyone
who’s still using Windows XP in
their school, or at home, is putting
their school or their personal data
at risk. Windows Server 2003 goes
out of support in July this year,
but it’s still widely used around
the world.
So the simple message is:
• Check that all your software
(not just Windows) is still
supported on all your computers, Smartphones and tablets.
• See if the software is
automatically updating itself.
(This is the default for a lot of
software now.)
• Don’t use out-of-support
software like Windows XP or
Windows Server 2003.
For schools using the
Hosted School Service
security updates are
provided as standard
If you have an issue or
topic you would like
David to write about,
email: [email protected]
Hampshire IT Schools – Summer 2015
Hampshire IT Schools – Summer 2015
How did we do?
Performance figures for Hampshire IT's school
support, September 2013 to December 2014
Our performance in providing support for both our HSS (Hosted Schools
Service) and our SLA services, such as HPSN2 broadband and SIMS Support,
is measured against a range of published KPIs (key performance indicators), as
agreed with school heads through the ICT strategy group, P/SICATS. In nearly all
cases we have met or exceeded our targets, and we are looking to improve those
services where we are below target. Schools Business Partner Steve Riddle reports.
Total contacts:
School staff made a total of 25,618 contacts to the Help Desk in this period
43% were about the Hosted School Service
57% were about SLA services, such as HPSN2 and SIMS
Of these 25,618 contacts
with the Help Desk:
66% were made by telephone
19% were made by email
15% were made using the self-service
Achieve form, which automatically
generates a HEAT reference for the user
and assigns the call to the relevant
specialist support team.
Callback reponses (SLA calls only)
Our published KPI is to respond to 95% of all SLA calls
within four working hours.
We achieved this for 98% of calls, as shown in the
table below:
Call Back
Less than 1 hour
1-2 hours
2-4 hours
More than 4 hours
With more than 25,000 support calls a year,
things will occasionally go wrong.
We always try to put them right as quickly
as we can and to use service complaints
positively to help us identify where we
need to make improvements.
Our KPI is for service complaints to be less
than 0.5% of total calls received, and the
actual number of complaints received is
often significantly below this target.
Call resolution
Support call resolution KPIs are generally more difficult to achieve, as they often depend on a range of
factors, such as complexity or the need for further information from the user or a supplier.
Our KPI for SLA (HPSN2, SIMS etc) calls is to
resolve 60% of calls within one working day and
85% of calls within three working days.
As the graph on the right shows, we achieved
these targets for the whole monitoring period.
In a study of SIMS support calls, carried out
separately and monitoring the period June
2014 to January 2015 inclusive, we resolved
85% within one working day and 98% within
three working days.
Our KPI for HSS support calls is to resolve 90% of calls within the target time.
The target time will vary
according to call priority.
For example, we aim to resolve
Priority 1 calls within four
working hours and Priority 4 calls
(non-urgent queries) within
five working days.
Average volume of support calls
per school during the period
Our commitment to quality
Our performance against target
for each month of the review
period is shown in the graph. We
were very slightly below target
overall, and work is already in
progress to improve HSS support.
The figures show significantly more calls were made in respect of
HSS than for the SLA. This is to be expected because we are
delivering a fully managed IT service to HSS schools.
Non-HSS schools will be making technical calls to their own third
party network providers.
IT Help Desk 01962 847007
Management Information
Hampshire IT Schools – Summer 2015
HPSN2 broadband
As you may already know, HPSN2
provides schools with an
uncontended connection to
the Internet. More than that, it
also includes Hampshire County
Council-managed firewalling,
email and web content filtering,
dedicated service desk etc.
The Internet service has been
stable since the core upgrade
changes made during Easter
2014 and has consistently
exceeded the 99.5% availability
(uptime) target. The two periods
since the upgrade when it was
unavailable (in June 2014) were a
direct result of an external attack
on the UK-wide Virgin Media
network. This impacted not just
on HPSN2 but on organisations
across the country, including
British Airways.
Average use by schools (Internet
utilisation) is currently running at
80% of existing capacity, and we
have the ability to upgrade core
capacity, when the need arises.
So what’s new....
in SIMS?
The graph below shows a steady
increase in schools' Internet use
between April 2014, and we are
planning to upgrade core
capacity in the near future.
Please share this information with colleagues
who use these areas of SIMS. For full details see
the release notes:
The SIMS Spring upgrade delivers a range of enhancements and
new features. Highlights include:
Primary Phase Programme of Study tracking
screen to record knowledge and skills for the
National Curriculum assessment without levels
Enhancements to Pupil Premium recording and
What comes next?
New logging and tracking tool
Customer surveys 2015
As stated on page 8,15% of contacts with the
IT Help Desk are made by school staff using the
self-service Achieve form.
Whilst our ongoing service monitoring is
generally positive, this does not mean we are
complacent. We also understand the difference
between KPI statistics and user perception.
This automatically generates a HEAT reference
for the user and assigns the call to the relevant
support team.
Whilst this works well, we shall be introducing
an improved service later this year to enable
schools to log their own IT Support calls and
track their progress.
Easier timetabling of multiple periods
A new Homework widget in SIMS Learning
Gateway where teachers can see who is due to
hand in homework
SIMS Assessment: Programme of Study
In the Spring 2015 release of SIMS schools have access to Capita’s new Programme of Study screen, designed to
allow schools to record Assessment without levels against the new National Curriculum. These resources are
available to help schools to track pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding against the Programmes of Study for
every subject across KS1 and KS2.
Left: This screen allows a teacher to quickly
enter data and complete some analysis for
their group on one screen.
Right: The colour
coding shows
the four outcome descriptors for teachers
to assess each
To this end we will be implementing targeted
customer surveys in 2015 to provide us with
qualitative customer feedback which we can
review alongside our regular KPI monitoring.
More information about these surveys will be
shared with schools in due course.
IT Help Desk 01962 847007
Management Information
Hampshire IT Schools - Summer 2015
As termly objectives are set, the system will give
feedback on percentage of termly (or half-termly)
summative assessments, secured or mastered, and
allow an overall judgment to be made.
There is also real time analysis of each strand in
terms of students securing and mastering each
The key features include:
• Progress towards expectations All on-screen
analysis is based on the most recently recorded
achievement to provide instant and ongoing
feedback, whilst highlighting current attainment and progress towards expectations.
• Progress toward school specific expectations
On-screen analysis instantly shows a pupil’s
progress towards National Curriculum end of
year or Key Stage expectations as attainment
is recorded.
• Maintain historical achievement No need
to jump between marksheets to review prior
attainment, as any achievement recorded for
pupils historically is automatically presented
on screen and identified by a ‘slice’ of colour.
• Informed analysis of performance To help
senior leaders and teachers analyse how the
school is performing you can indicate specific
knowledge or skills and receive instant
progress updates towards these.
• Analyse progress and attainment for
different groups of children Identify your key
pupil groups and review attainment and
progress towards expectations for these
groups, helping to highlight gaps or identify
where interventions may be needed.
• Access to the entire National Curriculum
Teachers can access the Programmes of Study
for all core and non-core subjects to record
pupil achievement from one easy-to-access
• Compare pupil outcomes over time From the
data entry screen teachers can quickly change
the assessment period in order to review
attainment and progress-analysis relevant to
the selected assessment period.
• Formative and summative assessments
Teachers can record formative assessments
against the Programmes of Study and provide
summative judgements to indicate which stage
of the Curriculum a pupil is working within.
A simple traffic light display shows pupils as
emerging, developing, secure or mastering an
area of learning.
• Pupils' strengths and next steps Help
pupils to understand what they’re good at and
their areas for development by sharing pupil
strengths and ‘next steps’ comments recorded
during the term, generating a report in SIMS.
There are also new style reports that give
visual feedback to parents about their child’s
progress, with more reports scheduled for the
SIMS Summer and Autumn 2015 upgrades.
If you would like to know more about the
Hampshire IT service to implement the full
primary phase package with additional
resources and training, please open a call with
the Help Desk.
We will be happy to provide full details.
Supporting your Pupil Premium children
Capita’s latest release will include
the Pupil Premium indicator within
four extra areas of SIMS: Take
Register; Edit Marks; Deal with
Unexplained Absences; the Student
Teacher View.
The new indicator will enable
teachers to have a better view of
You will also be able to filter on
Pupil Premium pupils within the
Group Analysis by Star Field Report
and the Group Analysis by
Vulnerability Report. This means
you’ll no longer need to rely on
SIMS Discover groups to report
on this key vulnerable group, and
you can provide this valuable
information to inspectors at the
click of a button!
Nova timetable
Capita have made a number of
enhancements to Nova, including
the ability to split multiple periods
when inserting a new period into
pupils present within their class.
It also saves time by removing
the need to enter individual pupil
records to identify Pupil Premium
an existing cycle and to associate a
colour with a subject and to print
the colour on the timetable.
SIMS Learning Gateway
The SIMS Homework Diary, part of
the core SIMS Learning Gateway
solution, is increasingly popular
with schools as it allows parents'
access to view online what
homework has been set. The SIMS
Homework Diary is also key for
supporting teachers in setting and
keeping track of homework.
To give teachers a clearer view of
which pupils are up-to-date with
their homework, Capita have
enhanced the features in the Spring
IT Help Desk 01962 847007
2015 upgrade to include a new
Homework widget, shown in the
screenshot bottom right. This will
show what homework is due in the
current week and identify what
homework has
been handed in,
is yet to be
handed in or is
due in the future.
upgrade can be found in the
Hampshire IT release notes, which
will be available on the ICT in
Schools Intranet at: http://intranet.
Full details of the
improvements in
the Spring 2015
Quick Reference Sheet
Hampshire IT Schools - Summer 2015
Using the Workspace
Discover enables schools to analyse the data held in SIMS and to display the results in a variety of graphical formats, e.g. bar graphs, progression line
graphs, pie charts and Venn diagrams. A range of predefined graphs is provided with your Discover installation, which are standard graphs that can be
used as a starting point by most schools. The predefined graphs are accessible from a series of category-specific Catalogue buttons on the Discover
Application Bar. Click one of the Catalogue buttons to display the predefined graphs relating to the selected category.
Clicking the Help button
launches the Discover
Documentation Centre, which
provides access to the Discover
user documentation.
Pupil button
SIMS Future Developments
Clicking the Information button
displays the date and time of
the last successful Transfer
process between SIMS and
Discover for each set of
academic year’s data.
Staff button
Pastoral button
without levels, and this will fall into
their Summer 2015 and Autumn
2015 schedule. As the development
will fall over two releases, they will
be communicating exactly which
functionality will become available
in each release, as it is confirmed.
We will update you all, as soon as
we have more information.
SEN button
Exams button
The Academic Year Selector defaults to the Current Year and enables
the selection of data from Last Year or from 2 Years Ago.
NOTE: Data for previous years is available for selection only when you have
transferred the data manually into Discover. If you have not transferred
data from previous years, the Academic Year Selector is not visible.
Programmes of Study Assessment Resources
Following on from the launch of the
new Assessment Programmes of
Study for the National Curriculum
without levels, further enhancements are planned for the KS1 and
KS2 resources over the next two
Supporting Assessment without levels at KS3
Many of you have been asking
when Capita will be working on
resources for KS3. Well, Capita have
announced they will be working on
the KS3 requirements for assessing
Exclusions button
upgrades. These include:
• a selection of Analysis Reports (both formative and summative)
• narrative style reporting linked to achievement
• the ability to customise the
Programme of Study statements
Whichever way your school chooses
to approach assessment-tracking,
Capita are developing SIMS to ensure it evolves in line with the needs
for schools to assess without levels.
Interventions in SIMS
Capita are also beginning a new project to expand the ‘interventions’ functionality in SIMS so that it will span areas
where schools offer extra activities for pupils/students above and beyond normal teaching. Some of the areas they
are planning to link include: SEN; G&T; Pupil Premium. This will allow schools to:
understand how each
intervention has had an effect on
performance indicators
• track which interventions are
most effective
• track cost versus impact
• record interventions across
multiple areas in one place
We don’t have confirmed timescales
for this work yet, but the storyboard
(right) provides the context of the
work Capita will be doing for this
next project.
Custom Graphs
Groups button
Using Graphs
Click and drag one of the graph names or the associated orange box onto
the Discover canvas.
Viewing the Reverse Side of a Graph
A summary of the data that built the graph can be viewed on its reverse
side. This information includes the pupil/student name, date of birth and
admission number as well as their memberships. If pupil/student
photographs are recorded, these are also displayed.
Click the Information button on the front of the graph. The graph rotates
by 180 degrees and the underlying data is displayed.
Release the mouse button to compile the data as a graphical output. Most
of the predefined graphs open as bar graphs but you can change to a
different format by clicking the appropriate
button located at the bottom of the graph.
Information button
The data used to build the graph
can be exported to .CSV file by
Bar Graph
Progression Line
Pie Chart
clicking the Export button. The
file can then be opened using a
spreadsheet application, from where it can be analysed and monitored.
Moving a Graph Around the Canvas
Once a graph has been created, it can be moved around the canvas to
maximise the space available. This enables you to drag and drop multiple
graphs onto the canvas at the same time. Click into the title area of the
graph and drag it around the canvas then release the mouse button to
position the graph in the required location.
If the graph is positioned so that you cannot see the Close button or the
graph title, click the Discover canvas then move the mouse to drag the
canvas and view the graph.
Resizing a Graph
Once a graph is compiled on the canvas, it can be stretched to maximise
its size. Click a border or a corner of the graph until the two-way arrow
cursor is displayed. Drag the cursor in the required direction to increase
or decrease the size of the graph on the canvas.
IMPORTANT NOTE: There is a limit to the size that the graph can be
reduced to whilst still displaying the data in a readable format.
To view all the information, the reverse side of the graph can be resized so
that all the column headings are visible. View the entire list of
pupil/students by moving the slider up and down on the right-hand side of
the graph.
You may wish to export the data details from the reverse side of a graph in
.CSV format so that it can be analysed and monitored in a spreadsheet
Click the Export button on the reverse side of the graph to display the
Save As dialog.
Export button
Browse to a suitable storage location and enter an appropriate File name
for the data details. Click the Save button to save the data in a comma
separated file.
Quick Reference Sheet
Hampshire IT Schools – Summer 2015
Transferring Data
Making the most of...
Using the Discover Administration Utility
The Discover Administration utility sits between SIMS and Discover and
enables up-to-date data in SIMS to be accessible in Discover. It also
provides the ability to change or customise how different items of data
are displayed in Discover.
Review the selections made and if you are sure that no users will be
affected by the running of the Transfer process, click the Confirm
The Transfer process is run in the background and you are returned to
the Managing Data Transfers page of the Discover Administration
Modifying Transfer Settings
On the Modify transfer settings page, you can amend a number of key
settings that affect how and when the Transfer process is run.
Changing the Transfer Offset
The utility consists of three main functional areas. The main functions
relating to Managing Data Transfers are described in the following
The Modifying Graph Display Settings functions enable you to amend the
display and interval ranges of specific predefined graphs, if the data is
not being displayed as you would like. For more information please refer
to the Discover User Guide.
The Managing Assessment Graphs options relate to the creation,
organisation and import/export of your own Assessment graph
definitions. For more information please refer to the Discover Managing
Assessment Graphs handbook.
Starting a Data Transfer
You can start the Transfer process manually at any time. This enables
you to refresh the data in Discover with the most up-to-date data
recorded in SIMS, according to your Discover settings.
Click the Managing Data Transfers button then click the Start a
data transfer button.
If the transfer of data from SIMS to Discover cannot be run at the specified
time because, for instance, the scheduled task would interfere with a backup
routine, you can enter a value (in hours) in the Transfer offset field. The
value entered is used as an adjustment to offset the time dependant
calculations made by Discover.
It is possible to enter an offset value of up to +12 or -12 hours from the
original preset time of the Discover Data Transfer Task.
Making a Last Working Day Adjustment in Calendar Days
The Discover application displays data at or up to a point in time. For the
Current Year, this is the date that the last successful Transfer process was
run. For data in previous years, the end date of the academic year is
considered to be the appropriate point in time.
A more suitable point in time is the last working day of the academic year,
i.e. the last day of the final term. For example, a pupil/student may not be
recorded as belonging to a particular class on the last day of the academic
year as this date falls during the Summer holidays. Where this is the case,
the pupil/student’s last membership of the class is likely to be recorded on
the last working day of the academic year.
However, by entering an appropriate value in the Last working day
adjustment field, you can modify the date that is used by Discover to
determine the effective date at a point in time prior to the last working day.
This enables you to ensure that meaningful data, i.e. group and class
memberships, etc. is available for use when working with data from
previous years.
Discover can store data from previous academic years. This enables
you to create graph definitions and make comparisons from year to
year. Each year is stored as a separate set of data so you must
ensure that sufficient storage capacity is available to allow for
additional years of data.
After upgrading the application, Discover continues to work with data
for the current academic year. The Transfer process must first be run
on the Current Year to ensure that the data structures that are
required to enable the successful transfer of data for previous years
are refreshed before you begin to transfer data for previous years.
You can select to transfer more than one academic year at a time but
this will increase the amount of time that it takes to carry out the
Transfer process.
On the Select the academic years page, click the button(s)
relating to the data you wish to transfer, e.g. Current Year, Last
Year or 2 Years Ago.
Click the Next button to display the Start the data transfer page.
Applying the Last Working Day Adjustment to the Current Year
If you run the Transfer process after the last working day of the current
academic year, including any Last working day adjustment value,
Discover uses this date as the effective point in time. This enables you to
‘freeze’ information, such as Free School Meals or class memberships, so
that all group memberships remain as they were on the last working day of
the current year.
Click the Apply last working day to current year button to ensure that
the Last working day adjustment (in days) is also applied to the data for
the Current Year.
Click the Next button then the Confirm button to apply the settings.
Capita SIMS, Franklin Court, Priory Business Park, Cardington, Bedfordshire MK44 3JZ
Tel: 01234 838080 Fax: 01234 832036 Email: [email protected] Web:
© Capita Business Services Ltd 2014. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be
reproduced, photocopied, stored on a retrieval system, translated or transmitted without the
express written consent of the publisher.
Version 7.150 - 1.1
Denise Bradley, Administration Officer, describes how St Luke's C of E
Primary, Sway, is deploying this essential management information tool
early two years ago now, I joined
the office team at St Luke’s
Church of England Primary as
Administration Officer, having
previously worked as the Deputy
Headteachers' Administrator at a
secondary school for seven years.
classrooms to take registration. The
SIMS IT Helpdesk is just a call away
for even the smallest query; the team
are always willing to answer questions without making you feel silly!
Rachel Goplen is the Headteacher,
and I have enjoyed working with
a Head who is enthusiastic and
very ‘hands-on’ regarding new
technology and innovations. Since
joining the team, I have attended
several SIMS courses and
conferences run by Hampshire IT,
and each one has enthused me with
the possibilities that this powerful
tool gives to schools.
Budget constraints in a secondary
were always a big hurdle to
overcome. Refreshingly, at St Luke’s
the IT systems are a key priority in
the School Improvement Plan,
and Rachel is very keen on
pushing forward with developments
in this area.
We have recently become a
Centrally Hosted SIMS school, and
we adopted the Hampshire Primary
Assessment & Analysis Toolkit when
it was launched. SIMS is used by
all our class teachers, and we have
designed annual reports in which
teachers will input their own
comments through SIMS; it’s brilliant
to have the whole staff team
embracing these developments.
SIMS is also used by teachers in their
attended Bett in January. We visited
the Capita stand where we were
given a demonstration of the new
SIMS Teacher App, which was very
impressive. The practicality of
teaching staff being able to take
their classroom infrastructure
off-site was one of the main
benefits of this product.
Other add-ons we saw
demonstrated were: Agora (online
payments), Dinner Money and
Intouch Communications. (It just
makes sense to have everything
in one place.) We are liaising with
Hampshire IT to see how we can
incorporate these into our daily life.
If we could just do online bookings
for our popular afterschool and
breakfast clubs, parents' evenings,
trips etc, that would be great!
Amongst the St Luke's School
Improvement priorities is
further development of ICT
learning throughout the school; and
ICT facilities and the use of these
to aid learning are under continual
review. We have ordered new tablets
this year, the advantage being that
they are portable and will enable
learning to be accessed in a wider
variety of settings. They may also be
utilised by class teachers using the
new SIMS Teacher App (we’re seeing
how this develops).
Rachel, Chris Boalch (Year 5 Class
Teacher and ICT Co-ordinator) and I
Another new development in SIMS
that we are interested in is SIMS
Discover. This has great potential,
and visual data often illustrates key
facts at a glance. I am hoping to
have time to utilise this tool fully.
The SIMS partnership with
Learning Ladders is also very
exciting, enabling schools to bring
the new curriculum to life and
having the functionality to show
parents in real time how their
children are learning and
progressing. We recently launched
this to our parents, with positive
feedback so far.
Release Date: 06/10/2014
IT Help Desk 01962 847007
Hampshire IT Schools – Summer 2015
Hampshire IT Schools – Summer 2015
ICT and English ICT and English ICT and English ICT and English
Simon Warner, Class Teacher
within the IT Team of the Inspire
Learning Federation at
Blackfield Primary School,
explains how learning was
increased by combining
programming with
storytelling in an afterschool
club he ran recently.
Ben Parry, Class Teacher and
Computing Manager at St Bede's
Catholic Primary School, Basingstoke, describes how his afterschool club uses ICT to create a
fortnightly school newsletter, The
St Bede on Tuesday. See www. (Look too
for the live feed from the school’s
birdcam, courtesy of Ben’s
Thursday night Computing Club.)
ur student newsletter, called
The St Bede on Tuesday because
it is published on a Tuesday, has been
going a few years now. It’s released
bi-weekly and circulated in print
format around all the classes.
It also goes to the Senior Leadership
Team, into the staffroom and onto
our website www.stbedesprimary. to let others know about the
many and varied activities happening
in our school.
The club runs every week on a
Monday afternoon, “staffed” by 11
young reporters from year 6. The
newsletter has a very high profile
within the school, and a lot of pupils
want to work on it. The children are
chosen on the basis of their writing
ability, and it is intended to help those
with a particular aptitude develop
their skills to a higher level. It also
develops their IT skills: to produce the
newsletter they use Microsoft
Publisher 2010 to crop and frame
images and to lay out the material;
they also practice their word
processing skills when typing up
and editing the text.
The newsletter is produced on a
fortnightly cycle. Week one: the
children come to the club on a
Monday afternoon and work in pairs
or in threes to decide what stories
they would like to write for the next
newsletter. They then carry out their
research. Week two: they come back
and produce the newsletter.
At the start of each school year I take
the lead in coming up with story ideas
and telling the students what they
need to do, but as the weeks go by,
I give them more and more freedom,
so that after a while they are the ones
coming up with the ideas and taking
the initiative.
During the first week of the cycle they
interview teachers and pupils, and the
following Monday they write, edit and
lay out their stories and photos, using
a template I have created. There are
spaces in it for them to drop in stories
and photos, so they can edit them
and add headings and captions.
The children use hybrid laptops, the
ASUS T100, to create the magazine.
Using the 10” detachable screen,
which functions as a tablet with a
camera, and a stylus, gives the
children the freedom to carry out
their research around the school,
taking photos and recording notes
from interviewees. Upon returning to
the classroom they can then simply
reattach the screen to the keyboard
and begin typing and editing their
A lot of schools have gone down
the iPad route, but we chose these
Left: Two members of Simon's afterschool
club, NOT those discussed in the text.
laptops instead, and in fact it’s quicker
for the children when it comes to
creating the newsletter. If they took
notes on an iPad, they would then
need to transfer their information
onto a laptop; with the hybrids, the
data is integrated into the one
platform. It gives more flexibility, as
we have the benefits of both a tablet
and a laptop in one device.
The newsletter has also been very
useful in developing their skills in
digital photography – not just in how
to use a digital camera but also in
composition, learning how to choose
a suitable background, for example,
or placing the subject within the
frame. They also learn editing techniques, such as cropping and framing.
This is only one of my clubs. I also
run a Computing Club on a Thursday.
There are so many opportunities for
using IT both at work and for personal
development, and I want to share
these with the children to inspire and
motivate them in ways which give
them the freedom to think logically
and the skills to work collaboratively.
Ben would like to work with other
schools to first help them introduce
their own newsletter and then to
swap editions and build community
links between schools. To discuss
please email him:
[email protected]
s part of my role within the Computing Team, I ran an afterschool
computing club which had creativity
and collaboration at the heart of it.
The club, comprising years 1, 2 and 3
pupils, carried out lots of investigations into what computing science is
and how we can put the vocabulary
into human language and contexts.
The basic premise for these young
children was that algorithms and
programmes are a set of exact
instructions that a 'computing device'
will follow. This was done first of all
through lots of practical instructionfollowing by the children themselves,
then through the use of a range of
apps on iPods and laptops.
These sessions were building up to
the creative learning, using Beebots,
that I wanted the children to immerse
themselves in. As devices go, the Beebots are simple, and the children were
quick to remind me of this! But as
with all digital devices, they are tools
to be used to accomplish a specified
goal and not the end in themselves.
The group needed a little more persuading on this idea, but I persevered!
After an initial familiarisation and
structured investigation – "Can you
make these shapes with the Beebot?"
for example - we progressed onto
using large sheets of paper with a
15cm by 15cm grid on them; one
IT Help Desk 01962 847007
move is 15cm long for a Beebot. At
first the children were asked to send
the Beebot from one corner to
another and record the sequence
(algorithm) that took it there. We
checked each others' sequences
and made the necessary adjustments (debugging). After I was sure
that each pair was able to do this, I
revealed that we were going to use
the grid to make a map. The children
would decide what type of area it was
a map of and then what special places
might be in the area. They drew the
locations on pieces of paper that were
then attached to the grid.
the good writer would record the
story based on the movements
described by the other (SEN) child.
The combination worked well and
was beneficial to both children, as
they were able to learn about storytelling through journeys without the
pressure of actual writing, apart
from drawing a few arrows to show
the sequence. The high ability child
listened well to the story being told to
him, which he then had to turn into
sentences, and the SEN child had a
captive audience for the story he was
telling, which was based on the computing work they had done together.
The Beebot now had an imaginary
area to travel around, which gave him
a purpose to move. The children
created a sequence that sent the
Beebot around the map, visiting lots
of different places. Again we checked
the algorithms and debugged as
needed to ensure the route was
accurate. Within their pairs the
children made up a short story based
on the travels of the Beebot around
the map they had created. One in
each pair then read the story aloud,
while the other sent the Beebot
around the map in time to the story.
As is often the case when using
computing devices of any sort, I was
impressed by the range of quality
learning that was demonstrated by
the children. From a teaching point of
view the application of creativity to a
basic toy was all that was needed for
the children to take the device to a
much more exciting level of
interaction and learning potential.
One pair of year 1 boys worked
beautifully well together. One is very
high ability, and the other is SEN.
They independently sorted out that
The children gained more through
the directed creative approach than
by just playing or following a set of
instructional cards to achieve a
pre-determined outcome. They
demonstrated independent
learning in a collaborative way, which
is a large part of our ethos at the
Inspire Learning Federation.
Hampshire IT Schools – Summer 2015
Working in partnership on IT
How P/SICATS benefits schools
P/SICATS – the Primary and Secondary Information Communication
and Technology Strategy group - works collaboratively with the
County Council to achieve better IT services for schools. Chair Andy
Burford, Head of Liss Junior School, explains its importance.
issues people would like to take
forward. By raising the subject at
the Area Heads meeting, I am able
to understand which IT issues colleagues are finding the most pressing; where necessary I can take up
the issues with the County officers.
As you would expect much of the
discussion at P/SICATS revolves
around the services the Council
already provides.
s a headteacher I find
P/SICATS incredibly useful
for ensuring the Council provides
Hampshire schools with a service
that works for us.
The meetings give school heads an
opportunity to get in the room with
the talent from Hampshire IT and
help them with their strategic
thinking – explaining what works
for us and what doesn’t; letting
them know what we want to see
happening. This includes discussing
national initiatives and how they
could be effectively implemented
locally in a way the Council can
manage and afford.
I represent the East Hants Area
Heads on P/SICATS, and the way
it works in our Area is that I report
the highlights of the latest P/SICATS
meeting and ask if there are any
Over the years a lot of the
discussion has been about SIMS.
For example, schools were running
software updates direct from Capita
and experiencing a plethora of
problems. That has improved,
I believe, because we lobbied
through P/SICATS; now each release
is tested by Hampshire IT before it is
made widely available to schools.
HPSN2 is another topic we often
discuss. Use of the broadband
connection grew much faster than
the County had anticipated, and
this affected Internet performance.
Schools said through us that it was
no longer fast enough. The County
responded, and now we have a
better, more stable service. P/SICATS
also successfully lobbied for the
text-messaging alert service for any
unplanned loss of HPSN2
broadband connection.
Another Service Level Agreement
issue where we've made a differ-
ence is schools' contact with the
IT Help Desk. Improvements have
been made as a result of our representations, such as the self-service
Achieve form for logging calls. I
understand that later this year the
County will be giving schools access
to a new HEAT service management
tool to log and track support calls.
Outside of the SLA, the HSS service
model has also benefitted, with
discussion leading to visits to
schools, including my own. Service
improvements are now in hand,
including a pilot of regular
technician visits, particularly to
primary and special schools.
Steve Riddle, Hampshire IT's
Schools Business Partner,
contributes his perspective
e really value the
collaborative partnership that we have with
P/SICATS and view this
group as a ‘critical friend’.
Developing and maintaining IT solutions for over 500
Hampshire schools could be
costly if you got it wrong.
To avoid this happening we work closely with
P/SICATS, ensuring that our services are fit-forpurpose and genuinely support schools in the
challenging business of delivering high quality
This often includes holding detailed discussion
around IT strategy, projects and service
improvement plans, as well as updating on
service delivery performance. For their part,
headteacher colleagues challenge us as
appropriate, and this has been essential in
helping us to shape high quality IT services.
Unlike many local authorities, Hampshire enjoys
a high service take-up, and the collaborative
partnership with P/SICATS is key to this success.
Whilst we can never satisfy everyone, we do
aim to meet the IT requirements of the majority,
thereby ensuring that Hampshire children get
the best possible opportunities.
What I like about P/SICATS is that
it enables schools to influence key
projects from the start. For
example, some years back we did
a lot of work on learning platforms
for primary schools, providing
background work on what the
HPSN2 broadband connection
should be achieving.
Who takes part in P/SICATS?
Another way P/SICATS works is that
the Area reps can relay County
messages to schools very effectively.
I think headteachers are more likely
to listen to other headteachers. At
one point, before Centrally Hosted
SIMS, many schools had to upgrade
their local server. Area reps helped
the County get this message across
early, giving schools a whole year to
budget for it.
Andy said: "We tend to have between six and
eight representatives attending any one meeting.
I would like to see a better attendance. Each
representative is responsible for 40 to 50 schools,
so it's possible the views of a lot of schools are not
being heard. With such large amounts of money
being spent on schools IT, and all of us chasing
best value, the more voices from all sectors
contributing to the debate the better."
The County fields staff from both the account
management side and from the curriculum side.
The school side fields headteachers from nine
primary schools, two special schools and two
secondary schools.
IT Help Desk 01962 847007
Office 365
based on real questions
from Hampshire schools
got married recently, and I need to change
my surname on Office 365. How do I do that?
Ask your school’s SIMS administrator to change this
in SIMS, which in turn will change it on Office 365.
It takes about 48 hours. Your User ID will remain the
same, and a new email address will be created and
set as your primary address. Your old address will still
be there behind the scenes, so anyone who types in
your old email address will get through to you.
ow do I send out an email to all
headteachers or all admin officers?
Provided you have the correct permissions, you can
do this using the Listmailer service. The web address
’m moving to a different school that also has
Office 365. Can I migrate my email data?
Yes, you can, but there is a charge of £85 per account
to cover the cost of the migration tool licence and
staff time. If you don’t have too many to do, you may
prefer to forward the emails to yourself manually.
hat is the maximum attachment size I
can send?
It’s the total message that gets weighed in Office
365. Messages can be up to 25MB. This includes
the message header and body plus any attachments.
ow long are deleted emails stored?
Deleted emails are kept for 30 days by default, and
even after automatic deletion emails are still
recoverable for a further 14 days. Right click on the
Deleted Items folder and select Recover Deleted
’ve received spam email. Who should I tell?
Please email: [email protected] with the details.
Find more about Office 365 at:
Hampshire IT Schools – Summer 2015
Hampshire IT Schools – Summer 2015
Choosing a tablet for your school
There are a multitude of
tablets available on the
market. Which one would you
choose for your educational
environment? Sue Savory,
the County's Computing/ICT
Adviser, discusses what you
need to consider when
purchasing these devices.
by Sue Corney
iOS devices
Android devices
Windows devices
• these devices have the most apps
• Google now manually reviews app
submissions to its Play Store
• check your Android can access
Google Play through Hampshire
proxy servers
• many different models/suppliers
• local storage can be increased with
• Smaller number of apps available
than for other operating systems
• familiar, customisable Windows
desktop is available
• integration with other Windows
systems is possible
• devices support standard Windows
set-up is very simple
large number of apps
fixed amount of local storage
tools available for managing
multiple devices
Other considerations
• battery life
• storage
• whether the camera is both front and
• screen size
• whether you can use memory cards
• whether you can access printers
• availability and cost of apps
Useful comparison site
Useful review site
Apps - where to find them
Some recommendations following conversations
with colleagues and some research:
Book Creator, SonicPics, MotionMath HD, Pocket
Phonics, Popplet, Doink, PuppetPals, Toontastic,
iThoughts, Tellagami, Comic Life and Garage Band
See also the Educational Technology & Mobile Learning
wish list:
Google search Top Education apps in Google Play or
School Administrator
and Finance Officer,
St John the Baptist
Catholic Primary
School, Andover
imes have changed since
I went to college and studied
computing. In many ways,
computers were more
complicated. Then spreadsheets
were very clunky – you had to
write formulae and specify cell
references, unlike today when the
user can point and click… or even
touch and swipe.
When I first went to work, at the
London Borough of Southwark,
computers were in a special,
sectioned-off area where you
weren’t allowed to take any food
or drink. Word processors were
rudimentary, and the user needed
to learn sets of obscure key
combinations to do anything;
more complicated things would
need to be written in a
programming language. This
complexity was simplified with the
advent of Windows, which made
computing more accessible for
us all and launched a whole new
world at home and at work.
IT has become integrated into
everyone’s life. It was not until
I reflected for this article that I
realised the extent that I use and
rely on it. I have an iMac which
syncs with my iPhone and iPad
mini (just the right size to fit into
IT Help Desk 01962 847007
my handbag), meaning transferring data is seamless; whichever
device I choose to use, everything
is to hand. Like many people, I
wouldn’t be without my
Smartphone. It gives me
immediate access to information
and keeps me in touch with family
and friends. FaceTime is great –
I spoke to my niece in New York
at the weekend and had a guided
tour of her new flat!
I have recently downloaded the
Kindle app, and although unsure
whether I would enjoy reading a
book without the feel and
satisfaction of turning pages, I
found the convenience made up
for it. I still like to read and delve
into books, and I hope that
e-readers don’t completely replace
this experience. We are planning a
digital library at school, alongside
the hardcopy books. I think there
is a place for both, complementing
each other to provide enjoyment
and learning.
Also at school I implemented
online payments for parents,
drawing on my experience from
my project and change-management background. This was a great
success, and we have only seven
parents that don’t use our online
payment system. The benefits are
twofold: reduced money handling
and a better utilisation of the busy
office staff, freeing time to ensure
teachers, pupils and parents
receive an excellent service.
Parents can organise payments at
a time that suits them or quickly
pay for dinners or a trip after a
small reminder.
Technological advancements are
accelerating year on year, and
many new innovations are being
developed to simplify and
enhance our lives, often with
services and devices we didn’t
even realise we would want or
need. For this reason the school is
looking at how best to introduce
IT into the classroom, not just as a
subject but as a resource across all
the curriculum areas.
My hope is that, going forward,
companies and governments
remember their ethical and social
responsibility and give thought to
the impact on our civil rights and
personal freedoms. IT has
revolutionised our lives and will
continue to benefit us as
individuals. I look forward to what
is next….
A wealth of practical courses
aimed at enabling schools to
get the most out of SIMS and
Look for the brochure in your
school and at events, or look
online at:
Hampshire IT Schools Summer 2015 edition is produced by Hampshire County Council
The Castle, Winchester SO23 8UJ. Tel 0845 603 5638
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